I've been busy today getting things ready for when Sweetheart comes home. The bread is rising, the cake is cooling, the wife is cleaning! I love Valentines Day & romance everyday.
I've got the table set. Ah, romance. Is that a pack & play next to the table? You bet! I'm suprised I didn't get the highchair on the other side in as well. Reality & romance...We'll make it work. I'd have done more pictures, but the card was full & the battery low.
Focaccia Bread with Oil & Vinegar for Dipping
London Broil (Barbqueing in the snow, what fun!)
Chocolate Cloud Cake (I'll try to get a picture of this. It's a flourless chocolate cake infused with orange and topped with fresh whipped cream. MMMM!)
I got this cute book for Pumpkin's Valentine: I Love You Through & Through. The boy in the book look's a lot like Pumpkin!
And finally, here's something wonderful from the pastor's wife of the church I grew up in back in Phoenix.
ABC’s of a Good Marriage
By Sue Wilson
It seems like nearly everyone in America has been touched by divorce in some way – either in our own lives or in the lives of those we care about. At times it feels like divorce is surrounding us on all sides. There seems to be conflicting and confusing information about just exactly how high divorce rates are in America.
Much of that information isn’t reliable, and some of it is downright false according to a report by TruthOrFiction.com, a website that works to sniff out the truth. According to their research, the rumor that half of American marriages end in divorce is simply that – a rumor.
There really has been no comprehensive reliable study done on this subject. However, researcher George Barna’s most recent attempt to attain some accurate statistics regarding divorce showed that the number of marriages in America that end in divorce is closer to one-fourth than one-half. Even so, I think we would all agree that divorce is a devastation that we need to guard against in our own marriages.
My husband and I have been married to each other for 38 years and we are often asked to share the secret of our marital longevity. In considering how to best do that, I came up with the following “ABC’s of a Good Marriage,” which offer some practical things we’ve learned over the years.
Admire your spouse.
Everyone wants to be admired by those they love. Let your spouse know that you approve of who they are and what they do.
Sometimes life throws us curves. Learn how to go with the flow and not let the unexpected put a strain on your relationship.
Commit and communicate.
Make a decision to stay married. Learn how to talk about what you’re feeling and ask questions about what you don’t understand. Most spouses are not mind-readers!
Don’t dwell on the past.
You can’t change it, so forget it. “Forget about what’s happened, don’t keep going over old history.” (Isaiah 43:18)
Explore new ways to do things.
Is your sexual relationship with your spouse stuck in a rut? In today’s world there are a ton of Christian resources for improvement. Here’s a few suggestions: Sheet Music by Kevin Lehman; Intimate Issues by Lorraine Pintus and Linda Dillow; and Sexual Skills for the Christian Husband (available online at www.christian-sex.net) by Robert Irwin. (Be aware that this is a very graphic and direct book that some people may find offensive). Even good marriages need to relight the flame occasionally!
Accept the fact that your spouse isn’t perfect, can’t meet all your needs, and can’t do everything right all the time. This is a good time to apply the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. (This is biblical by the way. See Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31). If you want your flaws to be overlooked, you need to be willing to overlook the flaws of your spouse.
Give up and give in.
Life does not revolve around you and it can’t always be your way. Being insistent, stubborn or domineering does not create an atmosphere for love to grow. Sometimes the best choice for a strong marriage is to do it your spouse’s way even when you don’t agree.
Handle failures with care.
Your spouse can and will do just about anything with your support. If you are determined to say, “I told you so!” when the dream flops, you’ll soon find that the dreams have either stopped or are not being shared with you.
Inspire your spouse.
The more you inspire, encourage and support, the more you’ll find your advice and opinions being regarded with respect. Marriage is a partnership where each partner’s job is to help the other be as successful as possible.
Just drop it!
It’s not worth winning the argument if it costs you your marriage. Besides, there’s always the possibility that you could be wrong and your spouse could be right.
Keep your criticism to yourself.
The only thing worse than being critical of your spouse at home is doing it in public! That’s the absolute best way to make your spouse feel threatened and unloved. It's a sure way to drive a wedge in your relationship.
Love your spouse even when you don’t like him/her very much.
Don’t waste your time being angry over unmet expectations. Love is a choice, not a feeling.
Make time to be with your spouse.
Opportunities to be together rarely just happen. Sometimes they have to be scheduled. When our children were small, my husband and I made a commitment to go on a “date” every Friday. That time was sacred because we both knew it might be our only chance during the whole week to reconnect with each other.
Never say never.
God has a sense of humor. The minute you say never is the minute something will prove you wrong.
Own your mistakes.
We all make mistakes. Don’t blame your spouse for yours.
By now you’ve probably learned that the “happily ever after” you heard about in fairy tales is just that –- a fairy tale! Chances are your spouse doesn’t have a clue what your needs are or how to meet them. That’s why it’s important to remember that only God can meet your every need.
Quit blaming your spouse.
No marriage is perfect. It isn’t your spouse’s fault any more than it’s yours.
Life is too short to be stressed out all the time. Has being worried or stressed ever helped make anything better? God is in control; He doesn’t need your help.
Save some energy for your spouse.
Even on the days when the kids have run you ragged or your job has sapped the life out of you, it’s important to find a little something inside for the one you love. If you don’t, chances are he/she will start looking for someone who will.
I once heard some good advice at a women’s conference. The speaker said, “Sometimes we just need to get out of the way and let God have a clear shot at our husbands!” That goes for wives too! God is in the life-changing business. Let Him do His job.
Understand that men and women don’t think alike.
God made us different -- there must be a reason.
View your spouse through God’s eyes.
Jesus died for all of us. That means your spouse’s imperfections are covered just as thoroughly as yours are.
Wake up and see what you’ve got.
There’s a long line of people out there who would just love to have the spouse you’ve got, imperfections and all!
X out the disappointments.
When something doesn’t go your way, draw an “x” through it and move on!
Yank the temptations.
Few people go out looking for an affair. Don’t put yourself in situations where Satan can deceive you; he doesn’t play fair.
Zero in on your spouse’s strengths.
Remember what first attracted you. Focus on what he/she does well. Dwell on the good stuff.
These ABC’s can’t guarantee a perfect marriage, but hopefully you’ll find some tools to help you get through the difficult times. Even after 38 years, my husband and I are still working on most of these. Marriage is hard work, but if you are willing to do what it takes I think you’ll find it’s worth it. Maybe you’ll escape being another statistic in the research on divorce.